This easy Mexican Coleslaw is all of your favourite Mexican flavours mixed into a healthier and lighter coleslaw. Shredded cabbage, carrots and onion in a creamy yogurt based dressing with cumin, chilli and paprika. Add it to tacos, burgers, salads and sandwiches. Coleslaw just got even better!
Coleslaw is a must at any BBQ or picnic, but the same classic coleslaw can get a little boring. Why not mix it up with this spicy and zesty Mexican inspired version that will be sure to wow your guests. A delicious side dish that can be thrown together in under 5 minutes and it has even been given a healthy twist.
If you are looking for more slaw recipes, take a look at our Best Homemade Coleslaw, Broccoli Slaw or Vegan Coleslaw.
Why you will love it
- Ready in 5 minutes
- Easy to adapt
- Much healthier than regular coleslaw
- Goes with lots of different meals
- Cabbage - We used white cabbage in this recipe, but there is no reason why you couldn't use red cabbage for a pop of colour, or use a mixture of the two.
- Carrot - We used standard orange carrots, which makes this a budget friendly side dish. However, you could use purple or yellow carrots to mix things up a little.
- Spring onion - This adds some extra crunch and flavour to the slaw. You could swap it for diced shallots or even slices or red onion if you prefer.
- Oil - Try to use the best quality that you can, as you really will be able to taste the difference. You could leave it out to save some calories, but we find that it loosens the whole slaw up a little and adds some extra flavour.
- Vinegar - We used apple cider vinegar, but you could use a red wine vinegar instead. We love coleslaw that has a vinegar bite to it. If you don't you can always leave it out.
- Cumin - This is a key ingredient in so many Mexican dishes, that we couldn't leave it out of this Mexican Coleslaw.
- Paprika - Another popular spice in Mexican cuisine, we use smoked paprika as it adds lots of flavour.
- Garlic - Fresh is always best, however you can save yourself some time by using a teaspoon of ready chopped lazy garlic.
- Coriander - I know some people don't love it and think it tastes "soapy", but it's a key ingredient in Mexican dishes, and really lightens the dish up.
- Lime - This adds so much freshness to the slaw. Try to always use freshly squeezed.
- Greek yogurt - We lightened up this Mexican Coleslaw by using yoghurt instead of mayonnaise to make it creamy. You can always use mayo though.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Shred the carrot and white cabbage and place in a large bowl.
Two: Put all the dressing ingredients in a separate bowl.
Three: Add the spring onions (scallions) to the carrot and cabbage and mix the dressing well.
Four: Pour the dressing over the slaw.
Five: Mix well.
Six: Serve with sliced chillies (optional).
Is it healthy?
Although I like regular coleslaw just as much as the next person, I find the mayonnaise way too overpowering and I just end up feeling a bit queasy after.
I prefer coleslaw that has a vinegar base and a little bit of creaminess, rather than just all creamy as I think it allows for the other flavours to come through. With a Mexican flavoured coleslaw, it is all about allowing the flavours to shine. We went with Greek yoghurt instead of mayo, so you still get some creaminess, but it isn't overpowering and it saves on calories too.
This coleslaw is also carrot heavy. Carrots are a good source of beta carotene, which is a compound your body changes into vitamin A, which helps keep your eyes healthy. Beta-carotene helps protect your eyes from the sun and lowers your chances of cataracts and other eye problems.
They are also a good source of fibre, which will help to keep you fuller for longer, as well as vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants
What makes it Mexican? We mixed all our favourite Mexican flavours, like chilli, cumin, lime, paprika and coriander in to some yogurt and then mixed that through the crunch vegetables. I ate something very similar with some fish tacos in San Diego once, and I have been making this at home ever since.
What to serve it with
The beauty of this is there are so many different things you can serve it with. Burgers, Mexican dishes, salmon - the options are endless. Here are some of our favourite dishes to serve it with:
- Mexican Bean Burgers
- Chicken Tacos
- Mexican Pizza
- Chicken Enchiladas.
- Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas
- Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos
- Bean Burrito
- Shredded Beef Tacos
- Easy Halloumi Fajitas
- Beef Burrito Bowl
If you are making this for a BBQ, then you can make it the night before and keep it in the fridge. The flavours will really intensify, which is definitely not a bad thing. This coleslaw will keep in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 3 days.
We like things spicy, so this version does have a fair amount of heat to it. But, if you want to cool things down, you could either use less chilli or remove the seeds from the chilli first. You could always serve the chillies up separately and let everyone top their own coleslaw with them if they want some fiery hot coleslaw.
Yes, if you want to save yourself some time, then buy a bag of shredded coleslaw vegetables and then add the dressing yourself. It won't be as fresh of course, but it's okay if you are short on time. Be aware that leftovers won't last as long in the fridge.
• Make this a more filling side dish by adding some black beans or grilled corn.
• If you don't like the tartness of Greek yogurt, you could swap it for mayo in the dressing, but it would change the nutritional value considerably.
• Add some extra crunch on top with a sprinkle of sunflower seeds.
• Make it less spicy by taking the seeds out of the chillies.
• Add a little honey for a hint of sweetness.
More side dish recipes
If you’ve tried this spicy coleslaw recipe, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
Tag us in your creations on Instagram @hungryhealthyhappy - Use the hashtag #hungryhealthyhappy too.
For the slaw:
- 2 Carrots - peeled
- 400 g (14 oz) White cabbage
- 4 Spring onion (Scallion) - finely sliced
For the dressing:
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 2 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar
- 0.5 teaspoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 2 tablespoon Fresh coriander (cilantro) - chopped
- 1 Garlic clove - crushed
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- 1 Lime - juice only
- 2 tablespoon Greek yogurt
- 1 Red chilli - Finely sliced
- Shred 2 Carrots, 400 g White cabbage and put in a large bowl with 4 Spring onion (Scallion).
- In a separate bowl, combine 1 tablespoon Olive oil, 2 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar, 0.5 teaspoon Cumin, 1 teaspoon Paprika, 2 tablespoon Fresh coriander (cilantro), 1 Garlic clove, 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper, juice of 1 Lime and 2 tablespoon Greek yogurt.
- Add the dressing to the salw mixture and mix well.
- Serve 1 Red chilli (sliced; optional).
- Make this a more filling side dish by adding some black beans or grilled corn.
- If you don't like the tartness of Greek yogurt, you could swap it for mayo in the dressing, but it would change the nutritional value considerably.
- Add some extra crunch on top with a sprinkle of sunflower seeds.
- Make it less spicy by taking the seeds out of the chillies.
- Add a little honey for a hint of sweetness.
Claire | Sprinkles and Sprouts
I am a sucker for anything that has lime and coriander in it!!!!!!
I know exactly what you mean about regular coleslaw!!! I have only in the last 10 years started even eating mayonnaise and I still find some dishes to be just too mayonnaisy.
This sounds like the perfect slaw.....I am thinking grilled chicken, this and a soft flour tortilla....yum!
This looks delicious and love your ideas of putting in tacos or on a burger. Looking forward to the burger recipe to put the two together.
Ole! I love the spice in this, it like cool meets spice! I love coleslaws and the variations of them. YUM!
I hate mayo in coleslaw too! And it always seems too sweet. I think I'd be a big fan of this spicy, yogurt based slaw.
This is just fabulous. I love Mexican flavors and this is right on the buck. Will be trying out soon.
Yum, this looks perfect for summer tacos. We love mexican food. Yogurt and vinegar sounds like a really interesting dressing too.
That looks like a little bit too much chilli for me, but I love the sound of all the other flavours. Coleslaw usually has too meh mayo for me too, so I like the idea of using yoghurt instead.
We had this as a side dish to homemade pizza last night and it went down very well with our guests. I directed them to your website for the recipe. It was so easy and I have half a cabbage left, so I’m going to make it again tomorrow.
Mexican coleslaw, what an awesome combo!! Thanks so much for sharing!
Rebecca | Let's Eat Cake
This crunchy Mexican-inspired coleslaw looks like a coleslaw I would actually enjoy! Can't wait to try it!
I love the combination of spices in this! Sounds great
Allison - Celebrating Sweets
I can think of so many tasty uses for this. I love all things spicy, so this sounds great!
Crunchy coleslaw with Mexican flavors is just what taco night has been missing!
Mexican coleslaw sounds like a really good idea. A great twist on the classic coleslaw!
This colesaw looks really nice and I know my husband would love this too. The spicy the better he would say
A spicy twist on a traditional coleslaw. I can imagine this with some fiery chicken and wedges would go down a treat
I love Mexican coleslaw it's so tasty and you can always tweek the recipe if you like ;-)
Life as Mum
I think I will be making this soon! Looks and sounds really tasty - my kind of food